Vox launches new uncapped ADSL bundles

 Vox Telecom, an end-to-end technology provider, has today launched a series of new uncapped ADSL bundles that are aimed at keeping South Africans connected for less. By Staff Writer

Effective 01 October 2015, Vox Telecom is offering a consolidated range of uncapped ADSL bundles for home users.
“We’ve created these packages in an effort to deliver best value to our customers, both in terms of data only, and bundled line rental options.   In so doing we’re offering cost conscious customers more bang for their buck,” says Shane Chorley, executive head of Carrier and Connectivity at Vox Telecom.
Packages will range from R89 per month for a 1Mbps uncapped data only account, with the bundled offering including the ADSL line rental for R99 per month, to a full range of  additional services at 2Mbps, 4Mbps and 8Mbps speeds and a 10Mbps option for R389 per month. All Vox Telecom uncapped services are offered as data only accounts or as an aggressively priced bundled deal. This new line of products will be available to new and existing customers on a month-to-month subscription.
Chorley said that “never has it been a better time for customers to evaluate who they get connected with.  We’re excited about creating packages and bundles for customers, that deliver great value.”

Is your UPS talking to you?

 
As computer technology has become more advanced, it has also become more sensitive to fluctuations in the voltage and supply of electricity. On-going power issues continue to be a major cause of computer and server downtime, and can have long-term repercussions on the reliability of equipment and the availability and integrity of data. By Marco Da Silva, MD of Power Solutions, The Jasco Group

An Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) has thus become an essential component of any end-to-end technology or computing solution. As a critical component of these systems, it is essential to ensure the UPS is optimally maintained, operational and ready to take over or bridge power supply at all times. There are many components of a UPS that need to be looked after to deliver effective functionality. However, without some form of monitoring, this becomes a challenging task, and organisations often only detect problems after the fact, when it is too late. Ensuring your UPS is able to effectively communicate its status at all times, both on location and remotely, is critical to ensuring that power supply truly does remain uninterrupted through outages and load shedding.
Marco Da Silva, MD of Power Solutions, The Jasco
Marco Da Silva, MD of Power Solutions, The Jasco
The current power challenges in South Africa have highlighted the need for a UPS backup solution – something which in the past has typically been a grudge purchase conducted only after a disastrous event such as data loss. Many organisations now see this equipment as critical, and a standard part of equipment. However, what the majority of enterprises fail to realise is that without the ability to communicate with the UPS to determine its status, there are many things that can go wrong. If the UPS cannot communicate effectively with connected equipment, it will be unable to perform one of its primary functions, namely the ability to ensure a graceful shutdown of equipment when mains power supply is unavailable. While many UPS solutions provide battery backup power, this runs only for a limited time, and before battery life is depleted the UPS should ensure that equipment is shut down safely. Further to this, the ability to proactively monitor and maintain a UPS is essential for optimum functionality and ensuring the UPS is operating at maximum efficiency. The UPS is a critical piece of equipment, but itself is also technology that includes a number of components that may potentially fail if they are not managed and maintained effectively. Simple preventative maintenance should be performed regularly, however, without the ability to communicate with the UPS it is difficult to test and monitor functionality. If a UPS is in fault mode or at risk of failing, and organisations are unaware of this, they may be left in a tight spot should the power fails and the UPS fails to start up and perform its primary function. Organisations today require simple yet advanced ways of monitoring the status of the UPS and all of its components. This can easily be achieved with the addition of a basic, web-based Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) card, which delivers a simple and easy to operate monitoring interface. The SNMP card allows businesses to connect into their UPS solution to view the UPS and its various components and functions from anywhere in the world via a static IP address. This in turn allows for proactive monitoring and maintenance and the swift resolution of problems. The solution provides a web interface as well as email communications and added on SMS functionality, so that alerts can be sent out if any components mail fail or any customised thresholds are met. Utilising this type of SNMP card, organisations can remotely monitor the status of their UPS, including voltage, current, bypass, utility power and more, and can take advantage of web-based network monitoring. In addition, utilising IP-based power software, organisations can also leverage centralised monitoring, unified management and graceful shutdown of equipment. Alerts can be sent out via a number of channels including SMS and email with warnings for configured alerts such as power failure, low voltage battery, UPS fault alarm, input power, output power and more. These problems can then be dealt with, to ensure functionality remains optimal. The solution also delivers a variety of reports to ensure that maintenance can be schedule timeously. Having a reliable, powerful web-based interface solution that is integrated with the multi-network communication protocols can enable comprehensive easy-to-understand remote monitoring and management of UPS systems. This allows organisations to proactively prevent downtime on their UPS and ensure this critical backup tool is available whenever it is required.

It’s not just Facebook that goes down: the cloud isn’t as robust as we think

  The computing cloud we have created supports much of our day-to-day office and leisure activity, from office email to online shopping and sharing holiday photos. Even health, social care and government functions are moving towards digital delivery over the internet. By 

  However, we should be wary that as we become more dependent on it, the cracks will show. The systems are often a patchwork of interconnected services provided by various companies and industry partnerships. A failure of one can lead to a failure in others. For example, Skype recently went down for almost an entire day, while Facebook was down for more than an hour – the second time in a week – meaning that many sites that depend on Facebook accounts as authentication were locked out too. Losing Facebook is an annoyance, but interruptions to major health and social care services or energy supply management systems can lead to real damage to the economy and people’s lives. A few weeks ago Google’s data centres in Belgium (europe-west1-b) lost power after the local power grid was struck by lightning four times. While most servers were protected by battery backup and redundant storage, there was still an estimated 0.000001% loss of disk space – which for Google’s huge data stores meant a few gigabytes of data. The lesson is not to trust cloud providers to store and provide backups for your data. Your backups need backups too. What it also shows is our dependence on power supply system which, as long runs of conductive metal, are more prone to lightning strikes than you might imagine.
Facebook response graph, showing outage. Bill Buchanan

When the lights go out

Former US secretary of defence, William Cohen, recently outlined how the US power grid was vulnerable to a large-scale outage: “The possibility of a terrorist attack on the nation’s power grid — an assault that would cause coast-to-coast chaos,” he said, “is a very real one.” As a former electrical engineer, I understand well the need for a safe and robust power supply, and that control systems can fail. It’s not uncommon to have alternative or redundant power supplies for important equipment. Single points of failure are accidents waiting to happen. Back-up your backup. The electrical supply grid will try to provide alternative power whenever any part of it fails. The power supply system needs to be built with redundancy in case of problems, and monitoring and control systems that can respond to failures and keep the electricity supply balanced. Cohen fears a major power outage could lead to civil unrest. Janet Napolitano, former Department of Homeland Security secretary, said a cyber-attack on the power grid was a case of “when,” not “if”. And former senior CIA analyst Peter Vincent Pry went so far as to say that an attack on the US electrical power supply network could “take the lives of every nine out of ten Americans”. The damage that an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) could cause, such as from a nuclear weapon air-burst, is well known. But many now think the complex and interconnected nature of industrial control systems, known as SCADA, could be the major risk. An example of the potential problem is the north-east US blackout on August 14 2003, which affected 508 generating units at 265 separate power plants, cutting off power to 45m people in eight US states and 10m people in Ontario. It was caused by a software flaw in an alarm system in an Ohio control room which failed to warn operators about an overload, leading to domino effect of failures. It took two days to restore power. As the world becomes increasingly internet-dependent, we have created a network that provides redundant routes to carry traffic from point to point, but electrical supply failures can still take out core routing systems.

Control systems – the weakest link

Often it’s the less obvious elements of infrastructure that are most open to attack. For example, air conditioning failures in data centres can cause overheating sufficient to melt equipment, especially the tape drives used to store vast amounts of data. This could affect anything from banking transactions worth billions, the routing of traffic around a busy city, or an emergency services call centre. As we become more dependent on data and data-processing, so we are more vulnerable to their loss. Safety critical systems are built with failsafe control mechanisms, but those mechanisms can also attacked and compromised. The cloud we have created and upon which we increasingly depend is not as hardy as we think. The internet itself, and the way we use it, is not as distributed as it was designed to be. We still rely too heavily on key physical locations where data and network interconnections are concentrated, creating unacceptable points of failure that could lead to a domino-effect collapse. The DNS infrastructure is a particular weak point, where just 13 root servers worldwide act as master lists for the entire web’s address book. I don’t think governments have fully thought this through. Without power, without internet connectivity, there is no cloud. And without the cloud we have big problems.

First iPhone 6s sold for R17 999 in SA

 
On 29 September, almost exactly one year after iPhone 6 debuted on the site, the first iPhone 6s was sold on South African marketplace www.bidorbuy.co.za for R17 999. By Staff Writer

The buyer, who is from Amanzimtoti, was happy to pay R17,999 for a 128GB Rose Gold model, although there is currently a 64GB Space Grey or Silver model on offer on the site for R15,799. Both of them are available immediately and are not on pre-order. The first iPhone 6s units appeared on bidorbuy on 27 September.
“The fact that an iPhone 6s was sold so quickly after being listed on the site testifies to the appeal of this particular brand. It also signifies that buyers know that they need to come to our marketplace when they want to be among the first to own a coveted product”, says bidorbuy’s Head of Category Management, Matthew Avramit.
Menawhile, Vodacom will offer the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, the most advanced iPhones ever, from 16 October 2015. Customers can pre-order the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus from 9 October 2015.
 

The Martian review: science fiction

 
Picture yourself as an explorer in a distant and dangerous place. Something goes wrong, and you and your team have to abandon the venture and head straight for home. But you get left behind, the rest of the team thinking you are dead, and you have no way to contact them. By 

Now you are in the shoes of the protagonist of Ridley Scott’s latest flick, The Martian. But rather than being abandoned on an ice floe or desert island, the film’s protagonist, Mark Watney (Matt Damon), is marooned on the desolate planet Mars, roughly 225 million kilometres from home. This rather changes the scale of the issue somewhat. Alongside the “normal” castaway issues of food, freshwater, warmth and shelter, Watney also has to scavenge for oxygen. Actually, he has to make his own water too. Even communications with home – should they be established – are delayed by the finite speed of light. Although that is still preferable to the delay inherent in a message via floating bottle.

Science is the hero

This might have set the scene for a run-of-the-mill Hollywood blockbuster, but this film has been marketed a little differently. On the lead up to the premiere, there was a close partnership between the NASA, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the film-makers, all touting the scientific accuracy of the film. Ridley Scott himself has said that they have got the science “as accurate as they could get it”. Unlike many directors in Hollywood, he is doggedly chasing the science geek demographic. Most of the science in the film has been preserved from the book on which it is based, written by a former computer programmer (now best-selling novelist) Andy Weir. The book itself was notable for featuring science heavily, bringing it into the foreground as a major plot device. The film is pretty faithful to Weir’s narrative. Many of the signature science-led plot points are there, a little tempered in places, but without the detail – such as the actual arithmetic performed by Watney – that gave the book its geeky charm.
A topographic view of Valles Marineris, one of the largest rift systems in the solar system. This image has been made from data collected by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) instrument which is flying on the Mars Global Surveyor. NASA
The film is also the first I have seen to present the full splendour and variety of the Martian landscape. From the first scene, where you see the vast Valles Marineris cracking across the Martian dawn, there really is no exaggeration about what Mars would be like on the surface. While many of the other planets in our solar system are relatively flat (the highest mountain on Venus is 6.4km and on Pluto is 3.5km) Mars boasts the tallest mountain in the solar system: Olympus Mons, which is around 22km high. Seen in 3-D, the film gives a sense of the dominating presence such an eminence would have over the planetary landscape.
This vertical exaggeration is increased by the range of craters that pucker the surface and the large discontinuity between the northern and southern hemispheres of Mars, perhaps a result of the lost ocean (which, according to new results may not be as lost as we thought!).

Roving the Red Planet

But this would be treacherous terrain to navigate and drive for thousands of kilometres. Yet, to get to safety, Mark Watney must do just that. So here we have to give the film some artistic license, as in reality we have found it pretty hard to drive across the Red Planet. So far the record for distance on Mars is held by the Mars Exploration Rover, Opportunity at now over a marathon 42km. But it took 11 years to do this. Not to mention that the rover’s twin, Spirit, got stuck in sandafter travelling just shy of 8km. To compound this, NASA’s latest Mars rover, Curiosity, is in serious strife. Its wheels are wearing at a frightening rate. To alleviate this, the rover is occasionally driving backwards as well as keeping to softer sandier terrain. So there’s a number of tall engineering leaps that need to be made before we can bound across the Martian terrain.
In the book, Watney makes many more modifications to his rover than are depicted in the film. 20th Century Fox
That said, having a human drive the vehicle is a distinct advantage, it took Opportunity quite a while to drive as far as the Apollo 17 crew in their Lunar Buggy. Astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt racked up nearly 36km over just a few days on the lunar surface. Although helped by the lesser gravity, the ability for a driver on the ground to choose terrain is invaluable when covering large planetary distances.

Specialists

One other difficulty I had with the film itself is that Mark Watney is presented as having a single speciality: botany. Possible crew make up for a Mars mission has been speculated upon widely. Most experts are in agreement that any member of a Martian exploration team would have to have at least two specialities. In the book, Watney is firstly a mechanical engineer and then a botanist. It seemed rather strange to streamline him in the film (or maybe that bit is on the cutting room floor).
Being a botanist helps when you have to feed yourself for months on end. 20th Century Fox
But, more accurately Watney, and his astronaut colleagues, are all portrayed as problem solvers. At one point the mission commander orders her team to “work the problem”, a phrase which could have been lifted straight from Chris Hadfield’s An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth. This rather typified the portrayal of Watney and co as realistic astronauts: people able to keep their emotions in check when everything is going horribly wrong. But, through the craft of Scott’s directing, you do see the human side to these people put in seemingly unimaginable situations.

Duct tape is magical and should be worshipped

Also, how useful is duct tape?! Every experimental scientist will tell you it is an essential part of their kit. Does this really apply on Mars? There’s quite a precedent here, as it would seem that duct tape was pretty useful to the Apollo astronauts where, among other things, it was part of the “modification” needed to keep the Apollo 13 crew alive. But it’s only really effective if you can keep it clean of dust, that would be a bit of a problem on Mars. The Martian is a great film, and strikes a great balance between keeping with the science as we currently know it and speculation with a little artistic license. Fundamentally, what I really love about both the book and the film are how they realistically showed space exploration to be a team endeavour. It’s not all about the astronauts on the ground, but also the vast and diverse teams supporting them there. Perhaps someone watching this film will be one of the first to step foot on Mars, or help get them there.
  •  is an Instrument Scientist, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation

Broadband key infrastructure for 21st century

  Earlier this month, the US Broadband Opportunity Council declared that broadband is “taking its place alongside water, sewer and electricity as essential infrastructure for communities”. By 

  Descriptors like “very fast” (Australia), “superfast” (UK), “ultra-fast” (New Zealand) or “ultra-high speed” (Singapore) reinforce the message that speed is an essential component of good broadband. But what would a genuinely 21st century broadband infrastructure look like? And can the National Broadband Network (NBN) under the stewardship of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull fit the bill?

High bar

Around the world there are broadband projects that give us a taste of what 21st century broadband might look like. One is Google Fiber, which promises “endless possibilities” along with 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) download and upload speeds in three American cities. In comparison, the ADSL2+ broadband serving more than 5 million Australian households today has a maximum download speed of about 20 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload of 8Mbps. However, real-world speeds are typically significantly lower. Today’s fastest NBN plans offer 100Mbps download and 40 Mbps upload, although NBN Co’s original fibre-to-the-premises approach could match Google Fiber’s gigabit speeds. Google has plans to expand Google Fiber to more cities in the US, making it one of the most high profile private sector broadband initiatives globally. But it is far from the only one. In cities around the world, many companies are building new broadband networks that offer symmetrical gigabit speeds (1,000Mbps downloadsand uploads) and more competitive pricing than incumbent broadband providers. In the US, more than 100 cities have joined the Next Century Citiesalliance, sharing expertise to bring “fast, reliable, and affordable Internet – at globally competitive speeds” to their communities. A successful example of this approach is in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where the community-owned electric utility company built and operates a fibre network connecting every home and business. In addition to offering symmetrical gigabit broadband, the network has improved the reliability, resiliency and responsiveness of Chattanooga’s electrical services. It also provides a platform for economic development that drives growth and innovation in the city. The people of rural Lancashire in England were tired of waiting for better broadband, so they took matters into their own hands. They raised money from the community, and volunteers learned how to install fibre. Their broadband for the Rural North (B4RN) project now delivers gigabit symmetrical broadband to more than 1,000 households. Singapore’s Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network connects all Singaporean homes and businesses to an open access fibre network, meaning that any qualified provider can deliver services using the network. Many ISPs now offer symmetrical gigabit connectivity over this national network, with plans to offer even faster speeds in future. These initiatives serve different constituencies in different ways, with three very important commonalities. Each project has built, or is building, a new fibre-optical network that connects directly to homes and other premises. Each has developed a business model that allows customers unlimited symmetrical access at the fastest possible speeds. Speeds can also be increased in future by upgrading networking equipment, allowing for faster data transfer over the fibre. Additionally, these fast, unlimited internet services are offered at a reasonable price, typically less than A$100 per month. By demonstrating what is possible, these projects are likely to shape expectations of what fixed-line broadband networks can deliver in future. The willingness of local communities, municipal and national governments and private sector organisations to invest in new fibre networks demonstrates that there are business models that work, today.

Bringing it home

Opportunities for using broadband to deliver services to citizens in innovative, economical and convenient ways are well understood. Research also suggests that increased uptake of broadband technologies results in economic growth, providing strong rationale for public investment in broadband infrastructure. However, when he was Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbullinstructed the National Broadband Network company (nbn) to meet short-term needs by incorporating existing copper and HFC networks into a multi-technology mix network. Research for the government’s NBN Panel of Experts concluded that Australians would not need very fast broadband service in the immediate future. But if broadband is indeed becoming as essential as roads, water and electricity, the current patchwork approach will be insufficient to enable the innovation, productivity and socio-economic activities already possible on the networks described above. The approaches discussed above show that investment in broadband infrastructure can deliver uniform, affordable, and very high quality service. New models provide services without limits or constraints, enabling innovation and experimentation with the possibility of increasing network capacity to meet demands for services that have yet to be invented.
Malcolm Turnbull has an opportunity to build world class broadband infrastructure in Australia AAP

Embracing broadband

A few days after taking office, Prime Minister Turnbull announced “a 21st Century Government and a ministry for the future”. He called for Australia to become more competitive, more innovative and more productive. He called for increased efficiency in service delivery, and spoke of integration across all levels of government to ensure the prosperity of Australian cities. He did not mention the National Broadband Network, but he would understand the important role that broadband can play in facilitating his objectives and know that there is enormous opportunity for his government to explore the potential of 21st century broadband. A good first step would be to articulate the ways that broadband underpins innovation, productivity and integration across his ministries and across the Australian economy, in cities and in rural and remote regions. With a clear set of outcomes in mind, the government may then reconsider its commitment to a plan that constrains and limits the capacity of the NBN, and may even hinder Australia’s future prosperity.

Cognition eyes buys with R95m cash pile

 
Cognition Holdings is looking to grow its business throughout 2016 financial year using its R95 million cash pile. By Gugu Lourie

The firm that operates quietly to provide telecoms and IT solutions to big telecommunications operators said on Tuesday it has a strong balance sheet with cash of R95 million, which “will be used to evaluate additional acquisitions in line with our knowledge and data strategy”. The JSE-listed Cognition Holdings, formerly known as FoneWorx, has successfully traded for the past 19 years, building solid blue chip clients such as Cell C, DStv, MTN, SAB, SABC, Telkom, Unilever and Vodacom. During the year to end-June 2015, Cognition reported 8.2% decline in headline earnings per share (EPS) to 18.6 cents versus 20.21 cents in the same period last year. Headline EPS is South Africa’s main profit gauge. While earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation dropped 16.3% to R33.4 million. The company said revenue from the Knowledge Creation and Management unit rose by 250% from R3.7 million to R13.8 million in the year to end June 2015.
“We are very encouraged by this growth as the future of Cognition is based on knowledge creation and management as our anticipated annuity revenue is intended to supplement (in the short term) the decline in faxing ARPU, and in the long term, surpass historical faxing revenue,” said Smith.
Mark Smith, CEO at Cognition Holdings
Mark Smith, CEO at Cognition Holdings
Despite tough trading condition in the core business, Cognition rewarded its shareholders with a dividend payment.
“The group remains positive about its future prospects and has declared a 12 cents dividend,” explains CEO Mark Smith.
Cognition – which is valued at more than R240 million and majority-owned by media group Caxton and CTP Publishers and Printers – plans to pursue further acquisitions to support its Knowledge 350 journey. Cognition owns Knowledge 350, a specialised consulting services division, which collects data in line with POPI, creates permission-based marketing, and transforms raw data to information and ultimately knowledge. This division was created to deal with the challenges of companies collecting data while respecting that customers own their data and have rights to privacy around the data. Knowledge 350 assists companies to manage these challenges and to exploit opportunities.
“We see great potential with our Knowledge 350 strategy, which includes our data warehouse build and business intelligence tool which are linked to marketing dashboards.  This service will benefit our clients by: reducing reporting effort, reducing information bottlenecks and providing clients with a “single source of truth” with actionable data to enable evidence-based decision making,” says Smith.
Post year-end, Cognition formed a new company called Cognition Analytics – a joint venture with qualified and experienced actuaries who will provide the company with the necessary mathematical, scientific and analytic insights to support Knowledge 350 initiatives. Cognition presently operates in 38 countries in Africa through relationships with 95 mobile networks. It provides SMS campaigns, which are part of its active data exchange services such as SMS, instant/multimedia messaging service (IM/MMS), interactive voice response (IVR), etc. It operates through three divisions including: MediaWorx that provides services to telecoms operators such as IM, IVR and MMS. It also offers multi-channel services to media houses, digital agencies. BizWorx provides Fax2Email, Email2Fax, automated receptionists and other range of unified communication services such as instant messaging. It also provides faxing services in the digital age. Corporate offices, such as those belonging to insurance and legal firms still rely on the trusted fax machine in the course of their business.  Smith is convinced that the fax machine tool will never belong to the dying technologies.  

Jonas Bogoshi new head of EMC in SA

 
EMC has appointed former CEO of unlisted technology firm Gijima, Jonas Bogoshi as Country Manager of Southern Africa. By Staff Writer

Bogoshi joins EMC from T-Systems International where he acted in the role of vice president sales. He has held executive roles in both private and public sector organisations, and his leadership experience spans South African enterprises as well as multinational companies.
“One of our focus areas will be to position and demonstrate EMC as a catalyst for digital transformation. This journey for customers will require a strong ecosystem between us and our partners to make it real. Furthermore, I believe that as a global corporation, EMC’s impact on South Africa should go beyond just commerce but also to assist in the creation of a sustainable economy and an inclusive society.,” says Bogoshi.
He holds a B.Sc in Computer Science from the University of Cape Town.

Vodacom sold 2.1m branded smart devices

 
Vodacom, South Africa’s largest mobile phone operator, has sold more than 2.1 million Vodacom branded handsets and tablets since August 2014. By Gugu Lourie

 “It’s no secret South Africans are data hungry and there is an increasing need for smart devices. I’m confident that our own branded smart range partnered with our propositions and world-class network is well positioned to provide the best mobile experience to customers,” said Vodacom’s managing executive for Terminals, Davide Tacchino.
As part of its commitment to democratising access to the Internet, Vodacom on Tuesday introduced four new branded range of Smart devices at its head office in Midrand. Vodacom and MTN are bringing own-branded devices, such as tablets and smartphones, into South Africa as part of their ambitious plans to accelerate Internet uptake. This is a big gamble for the two mobile giants as they make their entry into the highly-competitive market for branded devices. Internet is meant to improve the lives of people and facilitate access to economic opportunities and social welfare. A number of South Africans cannot access the Internet nor afford premium tablets, such as Ipad’s, Samsung’s, Lenovo, etc. that are in a north of R4 000. Mobile operators have realised that growth in voice telephony is dwindling and they are making a plan to migrate customers to data usage. They are hoping that by developing their own low-cost branded devices they will drive subscriber growth and diversify revenue generation. In short, mobile giants are attempting to utilise low-cost devices to fuel growth in the Internet space and uptake of smart devices. But they still need to drop the prices from $50 to a range of $25-$20 to make it more attractive to customers. The market for smart devices is big and promises to generate billions for mobile operators and manufactures.

Sunninghill and Barbeque Downs gets FTTH

 

Metrofibre Networx, a company led by ex-Absa boss Steve Booysen, will be deploying Fibre to the Home (FTTH) services to the surburbs of Sunninghill and Barbeque Downs. By Staff Writer


Working with the local Sunninghill ratepayers association, Metrofibre was selected as the area’s preferred FTTH supplier, enabling residents access to high-speed fibre and data services right to the home. The first estate in Sunninghill went live in June 2015, subsequently a further six have been completed, with 14 more to follow suit, and further construction happening in excess of 10 additional estates. Metrofibre is aiming to connect more than 6000 residential properties within the Sunninghill area into its FTTH network by the middle of 2016. The company has also extended network access to include Barbeque Downs. Working hand with the Sunninghill Ratepayers Association, Metrofibre will also be providing fibre access for the security cameras in Sunninghill , at no cost to the residents. Metrofibre is supported by its active shareholder – Sanlam Private Equity (SPE). In 2013 Sanlam invested in the managed open access fibre network and broadband fibre provider and has representation on the Metrofibre board. Sanlam invested in Metrofibre to grow its own fibre network, marking its first investment of this nature. Metrofibre, which was founded in 2010, is looking to take a slice of the Fibre to the Home (FTTH) market, while also extending its globally compliant network and services to local service providers. Metrofibre’s residential offerings include network connectivity that boasts speeds up to 1,000 megabits per second, facilitating super-fast downloads, streaming TV, unparalleled gaming as well as access to cloud solutions. The company has a series of packages suited for the small and home office, body corporates, and property developers. To check if there is fibre in your area or if you qualify for this service visit www.sunninghillfibre.co.za or www.bbqdownsfibre.co.za or contact Caryl on 087 151 4000. Should you have a general query about fibre in your area please visit www.iwantfibre.co.za.